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The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay

"The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR" will bring the horror franchise to virtual reality through what looks like a blend of traditional scares and more fast-paced, action-style gameplay. So far, developer Supermassive Games has had a mixed record with VR titles. It followed up "Until Dawn," often considered one of the best horror games of all time, with the VR spinoff "Until Dawn: Rush of Blood," which received average reviews. It then released a VR prequel to the series titled "The Inpatient" that proved to be one of the worst games of 2018


Despite it checkered past with the medium, Supermassive has decided to take another shot at horror VR. While prospective players will have to wait until early next year to see how it turns out, the studio has already shared plenty of details and some footage of "The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR" to give fans an idea of what to expect.

Does The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR have a release date?

While the announcement trailer for the game simply stated that it was "coming soon," Supermassive has since finalized a launch date. Fortunately, gamers won't have to wait too long to give "The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR" a shot. The PlayStation Store lists the title as releasing on February 22, 2023, at which point it will be exclusive to the PS VR2.


Sony has hailed the PS VR2 as the next big innovation in virtual reality. The system will also release on February 22, making "The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR" a launch title and one of the first titles early adopters of the new technology get to check out. It also means, however, that fans will have to hand over $549.99 for the PS VR2, in addition to the cost of the game, before they get to jump into the action.

What does the trailer reveal about The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR?

Supermassive released an announcement trailer back in early November that previews the gameplay and some of the horrors players will encounter in "Switchback VR." It has a much more action-oriented style than previous "The Dark Pictures" entries. While past installments tended to emphasize building tension over time and relied on psychological horror, the trailer lands on the other end of the spectrum. The sequences emphasize shooting and jump scares, accompanied by rock music that would fit with "Doom" or another shooter series.


The "Switchback VR" trailer also highlights some of the environments players will get to explore, a list that appears to include a cemetery, a hospital, and a spooky carnival. Apart from these setting details, Supermassive gives little away about the actual story in the trailer, though the official description does emphasize that it will take place within the "The Dark Pictures" universe and that villains from Season One will make appearances.

What will the gameplay be like in The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR?

"The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR" is a horror, rail-shooter on literal rails. Players will ride on a terrifying roller coaster that carries them through a variety of environments inspired by earlier entries in the franchise. As they go, they'll encounter monsters and other horrors and defend themselves with a selection of weapons. Supermassive Games has emphasized the features that the PS VR2 makes possible, such as haptic feedback that will allow the player to experience the movement of the coaster and the recoil of their gun. 


The developers have also incorporated the PS VR2's Eye Tracking technology. The game's store listing proclaims that enemies will be "upon you in the blink of an eye" and the trailer features a moment when some unnerving mannequins seem to move towards the player every time they blink. This appears to imply that some enemies will only move or attack when the player isn't looking at them, setting up encounters reminiscent of a certain monster from the "Doctor Who" series.